Peppermint Ice Cream

Churn up a frosty batch of homemade peppermint ice cream with crushed candy canes. This peppermint ice cream recipe may be cold, but it will warm your heart.

Peppermint Ice Cream
Elise Bauer

I love peppermint ice cream! Too bad the grocery stores around here only stock it during the holiday season.

This week, I decided to make my own and got some great advice from the king of desserts himself, David Lebovitz on just how to go about it. David is the author of a fantastic book on ice cream, so he should know!

I fudged a bit with the ingredient proportions that David gave me, but the method is all his. Thank you David.

What Makes This Peppermint Ice Cream Special

As with French vanilla ice cream, this method requires cooking a custard to add to the cream. It's a little more work, but the egg yolks are what makes the homemade ice cream divinely creamy. Otherwise, without all the emulsifiers that typically go into storebought versions, homemade ice cream can be a bit icy.

If I'm going to go to the trouble to make something from scratch, I want it to taste better than what I can buy from a store. And this does.

Peppermint Ice Cream
Elise Bauer

Other Add-Ins for Peppermint Ice Cream 

  • Add chunks of dark or white chocolate
  • Add chocolate sprinkles
  • Toss in some crushed cinnamon red hots
  • Top with hot fudge sauce

How to Store Peppermint Ice Cream

Keep your homemade ice cream tightly covered in the freezer for up to a week. Homemade ice cream does not last as long as commercial ice cream; it starts to get icy after 7 days. To keep the iciness down, cover it with plastic wrap or waxed paper before sealing to prevent ice crystals from forming on top. Store it in the back of the freezer to avoid temperature fluctuations.

To serve, let the hardened ice cream soften up for 5 or 10 minutes before scooping.

More Sweet Ice Cream Treats!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Peppermint Ice Cream

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Freezing Time 60 mins
Total Time 77 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 1 1/2 quarts


  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 8 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

  • 1/2 cup (100g) crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candy


  1. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt:

    In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar and salt. Make sure the sugar and salt completely dissolve.

  2. Prepare an ice bath:

    Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice, and set a medium-mesh sieve on top.

    prepare ice bath for ice cream
    Elise Bauer
  3. Temper the egg yolks:

    In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

    temper egg yolks for peppermint ice cream custard base
    Elise Bauer
  4. Heat custard until thick:

    Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula. Scrape the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    thicken custard for peppermint ice cream
    Elise Bauer
  5. Strain over the ice bath and chill:

    Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Then stir until cool over the ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

    Strain custard over ice bath, chill
    Elise Bauer
  6. Add peppermint extract:

    One the mixture is thoroughly chilled, add the peppermint extract, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, tasting the mixture after each addition, until you reach the desired level of pepperminty-ness.

    Different peppermint extracts vary in strength. I used 2 teaspoons of McCormick peppermint extract, which was just the right amount for our tastes.

  7. Process in an ice cream maker:

    Once chilled, process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  8. Fold in crushed peppermint candy:

    Once the ice cream has been formed in the ice cream maker, it will be fairly soft. Fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Put in an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours.

    If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.

    fold crushed peppermints into ice cream
    Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
323 Calories
22g Fat
24g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 323
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 137mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.